Ed woke up with the blaring alarm! He almost
wished he didn’t live in an advanced gopher civilization with
jobs, electricity, and trains to the office.
Slapping off the buzz, and massaging the tiredness from
his small gopher eyes, he then rolled out of bed. Quickly,
he brushed his teeth in the bathroom. Back at the closet, he
pulled on the favorite suit, and walked out on all fours to
perform the daily routine of waking up J. Steve, his sixteen year-
old son, and Tosh, his senior-in-high school daughter.
At this time it was customary for Mrs. Gopher to rise,
and in the kitchen now to meet Ed with his scrambled
vegetables, after he had read The Gopher Times in the family
“The stock market bounced up back to normal, Juanita.
Good thing I was with those Gopher Market Stopgap
Orders, to sell before the big drop, and then to reinvest low
again!” said E.D. trying to start the day on a positive note.
“You just take any lumps you’re taking, Edward, and
apply yourself to the restaurant in the city. How was your
“It was great! We did $2,300 gomallers. The weather
kept everyone in town, so they got up and came to my
restaurant all day before they left the city.”
“Is that why you were home so late?” asked his wife,
serving him his vegetables.
“Yes, and if it wasn’t for the only fifteen minute train
ride, I’d be late for the early morning breakfast rush today.
Thank you for the breakfast!”
“Well, my heart hasn’t acted up lately,” said Juanita,
knocking on her furry chest.
“You just don’t push it, wife Gopher! I don’t care how
busy you are with the Parent Gopher Association, and
your Gopher Days volunteer projects. You keep it under
“Oh, you worry too much,” said Juanita picking up his
plate, and doing the dishes behind the island counter.
J. Steve bounced into the kitchen. Ed looked up. “What’s
that gold thing in your ear, J. Steve?”
“A ring, Dad. It’s cool at school if you have a ring in
“Your fur is getting longer. This isn’t the 60’s you
“Elizabeth likes it, Dad.”
“And I assume you are studying?”
“Relax, Dad. I’ll be a lawyer. I just have to sow my wild
buds while I’m young. Speaking of which, are my buds
ready? I’ve got a jam session with Jimmy before English,”
said J. Steve, as he left the room and returned with his
guitar, set it by the door, and sat at the counter eating his
“You’re telling me you’re going with a pretty young
gopher, spending all your free time playing the guitar,
getting your ear pierced, growing your fur, and in two years
from now you’ll be accepted into a good pre-law gopher
“Yeah, Dad. It’s really going okay. Relax.”
“I want to see your grades.”
“They don’t come out until Christmas. They’ll be there,
“I mean, gopher. They’ll be there, gopher.”
“Gopher? You call your Dad gopher?”
“Dad, lighten up will ya?”
Then, Tosh Gopher entered the family room in tight
blue jeans, a silk shirt, with burgundy gophernail polish,
and a gold chain around her neck.
“You’re not going to wear those to school Tosh, are you?”
asked her mother.
“Everyone wears them,” said Tosh drinking her orange
juice, and struggling to eat half of a grapefruit, because
compared to her, it is so big, as she casually mentions,
“You’re not cool unless your blue jeans are.”
“What are we going to do with these kids, Ed?”
“Lighten up, and I guess join ‘em. Okay. We’ll try it
your way, but if the grades aren’t there, then you’re both
“Grounded? We are grounded, Dad. We’re gophers,
“Very funny. Now, I’ve got to get to the station,” said
He picked up his briefcase, gave a long, loving kiss to
Juanita, and bolted with precision for the door whistling,
“Lighten up, huh? Maybe I’ll get my ear pierced today.”
“DAD!” said J. Steve, and Father Gopher was gone.
After the short walk, at the station he met his buddy,
Henry, and they waited for the train.
“How’s it going?” asked Henry.
“Kid’s got his ear pierced, plays guitar all the time.
Daughter’s too young, but probably thinks too much about
romance. Good day at the restaurant yesterday! Juanita’s
heart seems all right. I don’t know. J. Steve says I’m supposed
to lighten up.”
“LIGHTEN UP? What’s that? Do you know what the
market might do today?”
“Lighten up. You know, not take things so seriously.”
“HOW do you do that, Ed?”